Electric Vehicles: Plug and Play ?
As part of the Ifri Energy Breakfast Roundtable series, a seminar with Lew Fulton, Senior Transport Energy Specialist, IEA et Thomas C. Luthy, Distributed Energy Resources Global Leader, IBM, Energy & Utilities. Chaired by William C. Ramsay, Senior Fellow and Director du Programme Ifri Energy and Jacques Lesourne, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Ifri Energy Program
To listen to automobile manufacturers in Geneva last month, an electric vehicle (EV) will soon be in your garage. EVs are billed as the answer to increasing dependence on “insecure” foreign oil, unsustainable inefficiencies in transportation design, growing contribution of transport to carbon emissions, urban pollution, unemployment in the sector and a host of other ills. EVs indeed appear as one path to achieve European Union longer term CO2 reduction objectives, innovation and competitiveness. The European Commission will soon present an action plan on “clean and energy efficient cars”. Before research budgets, state aids, supporting/enabling legislation and new infrastructures are planned by policy makers, it is opportune to assess how real, beneficial and accessible this technology is.
Are EVs just another technology flavor of the hour or will they truly contribute to these virtuous policy goals? How do small scale demonstrations of the technologies and infrastructure scale up? Will battery technology, infrastructure and cost restrain deployment? Do consumers really want to drive electric vehicles? What will be the source of electricity to recharge the batteries? On April 29, we hope at least to frame many of these issues and perhaps dispel a few doubts